Must Read These Squatter Rights in Georgia for 2024

Squatters rights are legal rights that are given to individuals who live in a property without permission for a long time. In Georgia, if someone lives in a property for 20 years without permission, they can file a claim to legally own the property. If you find someone on your property who you don’t want there, here’s what you need to know.

Squatter Rights in Georgia for 2024

In Georgia, in order for someone to successfully claim adverse possession as a squatter, they must meet the following requirements:

  • In order to claim ownership without a legal document, such as a title, a squatter must occupy the property for a continuous period of 20 years.
  • Having a legal document called “color of title” reduces the required possession period to 7 years.

In order to claim ownership, the squatter needs to meet the requirements mentioned above and then go to court to file a lawsuit. They can obtain a legal title to the property if they meet all 5 criteria: hostile possession, open and obvious possession, actual possession, exclusive possession, and continuous possession.

How Do Squatters Claim Adverse Possession in Georgia?

In Georgia, if someone occupies a property continuously for 20 years, they may claim adverse possession. Alternatively, if they have a color of title, they may claim adverse possession after just seven years of continuous occupation. If the original owner is unable to remove the person squatting on their land within 20 years, the squatter may be able to legally claim ownership of the land.

However, that is not sufficient. The person who is squatting on the property must also meet the following requirements.

  • Continuous: The occupation must be uninterrupted for 20 years (or 7 with color of title), which means the squatter cannot leave and come back.
  • Open and notorious: The squatter must be living openly in a way that is obvious to anyone who visits the property.
  • Exclusive: The squatter must live alone and cannot live with other squatters.
  • Easy: The squatter needs to have control over the property and treat it as if they actually live there.
  • Hostile: The squatter’s occupation is when someone lives in a property without permission from the true owner and against their rights.

Also Read: Exploring the Murders Per Capita By City In South Dakota For 2024

How to Evict Squatters in Georgia?

Serve an Eviction Notice

If you find someone living on your property without permission, you should give them an eviction notice. In Georgia, there is no specific time frame mentioned in the law for how much notice you need to give a tenant to vacate. This means that it can range from as little as 24 hours to as long as 60 days.

Call the Sheriff

If the person who is illegally occupying the property still refuses to leave, you should contact the local sheriff’s office and inform them about the situation. They might be able to talk to the person living in your property without permission and convince them to leave, which could save you the trouble of going to court.

Start the Eviction Proceedings

After the time period mentioned in the notice to vacate is over, you can start the process of evicting someone and begin a hearing. The person living in the property without permission has the right to contest being forced to leave. However, if you can prove that you own the property, it is unlikely that they will have a strong argument. Things get even more complicated when adverse possession is involved.

Request a Writ of Possession

If the court decides in your favor, you can ask for a writ of possession. This document gives the squatter a notice period of seven days to leave the property. If they don’t leave, the sheriff will be called to remove them. Just so you know, in Georgia, it is against the law to evict someone on your own without legal assistance. This means you cannot use force or take actions like changing locks or shutting off utilities to remove a squatter.

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